Pastry Perfection

It is bitterly cold here today. Wet. Gloomy. Grey. Cold. It feels like it could snow. Some would say a perfect day in doors by the fire and I just may get some time at home today. I imagine it is the best conditions for cranking up the stove and making and baking – warm, home cooked goodness that feeds the body, mind and soul.

I recently made pasties – a real favourite of mine. I love the fact that you can tweak the inner goodness with a variety of meats, vegetables and spices. Some days our pasties taste like genuine Cornish pasties and other days they have a samosa kinda feel, full of curry, cumin and chilli.

But the real love and perfection of the humble Pastie comes from the pastry. Plain flour, salt, chilled butter, a squeeze of lemon juice all blitzed together in the food processor and then enough cold water so that the “crumb” like flour mixture forms a ball. You must be patient with pastry. It needs to slowly come together and not overworked. It must be rested before it is rolled and shaped. it must be respected and cajoled into doing what it must, encasing the tasty goodness of the mixture. Making good pastry takes practice but it is a skill that every domestic goddess should have mastered. So on this winter’s day, light the fire, make a pot of tea and welcome a morning of baking and playing in the kitchen.